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The Fountain Hills Coalition reminds residents that a smartphone app is now available to be used for anonymous tips to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The “P3 Tips” app replaces the former Text-A-Tip program that was launched by the coalition in 2010.

The P3 application-based format allows residents to take advantage of new options yet remain anonymous.

Text-A-Tip was started by the coalition nearly a decade ago as a means for students and others to text in tips for underage drinking parties, drugs on campus and the like.

However, the program was expanded to include community residents who perhaps were more comfortable texting in tips than using the telephone.

Coalition officials are urging residents to download the P3 app and delete any references to Text-A-Tip on their phones since the service has been disconnected.

“We know of a few people who have tried using Text-A-Tip recently and received error messages,” said Shelly Mowrey, the coalition’s executive director. “We apologize for that, but we also want to emphasize that the new P3 app is available and working quite well.”

The coalition is closely working with MCSO to develop marketing materials that will soon be released so teens as well as other residents are up to speed on how the P3 Tips program works and how to download the app.

Users have the ability to share their name through tips provided on the app, or they may remain unidentified if desired.

The application is available on Apple and Android devices. Simply search for “P3 Tips” where you would normally download an app, and make sure it says it is developed by Anderson Software.

Captain Larry Kratzer, local Captain for MCSO, said that the set-up is simple and users are guided through the whole process, including adding MCSO as the primary law enforcement agency.

Once the application is set up, users can choose from categories before sending a tip, allowing the information to be more easily channeled to the proper authorities.

There’s even a school category, allowing students to provide anonymous tips directly affecting their school campus.

Another added feature is the ability to attach photos to tips, as well as the ability to track the progress of a tip after it has been reported.

If the authorities need to get back in touch with the person sending the tip, it will also be handled through the application.

“The coalition has had much success with Text-A-Tip over the years,” Kratzer said. “We want to continue to partner with the coalition and encourage students and residents to use the new P3 app for tips.

“We follow up on all the tips. There have been convictions in the past due to anonymous tips, so this is a useful tool for both MCSO and the coalition.

“These practices make Fountain Hills a safer community for everyone.

“We appreciate the work the coalition is doing and their heavy lifting when it comes to drug and alcohol prevention among our young people.”